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Brigadier (Brig) is a senior rank in the
British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), reserve personnel ...
and the
Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious Amphibious means able to use either land or water. In particular it may refer to: * ''Amphibious'' (film), a 2010 film * Amphibious aircraft An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an airc ...
. Brigadier is the superior rank to
colonel Colonel (; abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social rel ...
, but subordinate to
major-general Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparent confusion of a lieu ...
. It corresponds to the rank of
brigadier general #REDIRECT Brigadier general Brigadier general (Brig. Gen.) or brigade general is a military rank used in many countries. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. Whe ...

brigadier general
in many other nations. The rank has a
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 27 European ...
rank code of
OF-6 An officer of one-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the N ...
, placing it equivalent to the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
commodore Commodore may refer to: Ranks * Commodore (rank) Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to brigadier and air commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as ...
and the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
air commodore ranks and the brigadier general (1-star general) rank of the United States military and numerous other NATO nations.


Insignia

The rank insignia for a brigadier is a
St Edward's Crown St Edward's Crown is the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom The Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, originally the Crown Jewels of England, are a collection of royal ceremonial objects kept in the Tower of London The ...

St Edward's Crown
over three "pips" (
"Bath"
stars). The rank insignia for a brigadier-general was crossed sword and baton.


Usage

Brigadier was originally an appointment conferred on colonels (as commodore was an appointment conferred on naval captains) rather than a substantive rank. However, from 1 November 1947 it became a substantive rank in the British Army. The Royal Marines, however, retained it as an acting rank until 1997, when both commodore and brigadier became substantive ranks.


Historical rank of brigadier general

Brigadier-general was formerly a rank or appointment in the
British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), reserve personnel ...
and
Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious Amphibious means able to use either land or water. In particular it may refer to: * ''Amphibious'' (film), a 2010 film * Amphibious aircraft An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an airc ...
, and briefly in the
Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for th ...
. It first appeared in the army in the reign of
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

James II
, but did not exist in the Royal Marines until 1913. In the 1740s, the substantive rank of brigadier-general was suppressed, and thereafter brigadier-general was a temporary appointment only, bestowed on a colonel or lieutenant-colonel (or on a colonel commandant in the Royal Marines) for the duration of a specific command (similar to a
commodore Commodore may refer to: Ranks * Commodore (rank) Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to brigadier and air commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as ...
). The appointment was abolished in both the Army and the Marines in 1921, being replaced in the Army by the appointments of
colonel-commandant #REDIRECT Colonel commandant Colonel commandant is a military title used in the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically off ...
(which already existed as a rank in the Marines) and
colonel on the staff Colonel commandant is a military title used in the armed forces of some English-speaking countries. The title, not a substantive military rank, could denote a senior colonel with authority over fellow colonels. Today, the holder often has an honorar ...
. These appointments, although reflecting its modern role in the British Army as a senior colonel rather than a junior general, were not well received and were both replaced with brigadier in both the Army and the Marines (although not replacing the substantive rank of colonel commandant in the latter) in 1928."New Army Rank of Brigadier", ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
'', 23 December 1927
From the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 until 31 July 1919, it used the appointment of brigadier-general. This was superseded by the rank of air commodore on the following day. The rank insignia for appointment of the brigadier-general was a crossed sword and baton; the insignia for higher grades of general consist of this device, with the addition of a star (major general), crown (lieutenant general), or both ("full" general). Brigadier is the highest
field officer A field officer, field-grade officer, or senior officer is an Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the ...
rank (hence the absence of the word "general"), whereas brigadier-general was the lowest
general officer A general officer is an Officer (armed forces), officer of highest military ranks, high rank in the army, armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines. In some usages the term "general officer" refers to a rank above colo ...
"rank". However, the two ranks are considered equal.


Junior officer rank

Historically, ''brigadier'' and ''sub-brigadier'' were the junior officer ranks in the
Troops of Horse Guards In the British Army, the Horse Guards comprised several independent troops raised initially on the three different establishments. In the late 1660s, there were thus three troops in England, one in Ireland, and two in Scotland of which one was cerem ...
. This corresponded to French practice, where a
brigadier Brigadier is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the country. In some countries, it is a senior rank above colonel, equivalent to a brigadier general or commodore (rank), commodore, typically commanding a brigade of several thous ...

brigadier
was the cavalry equivalent of a
corporal Corporal is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments ...

corporal
. To reflect the status of the Horse Guards as
Household Troops Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country's most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with ...
, brigadiers ranked with
lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, i ...
s and sub-brigadiers with
cornet The cornet (, ) is a brass instrument similar to the trumpet but distinguished from it by its conical Bore (wind instruments), bore, more compact shape, and mellower tone quality. The most common cornet is a transposing instrument in B, thoug ...
s in other cavalry regiments. When the Horse Guards were disbanded in 1788, the brigadiers and sub-brigadiers of the
1st First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and 2nd Troops became lieutenants and cornets in the
1st First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and 2nd Regiments of Life Guards, respectively. Brigadier remains the lowest officer rank in the
Royal Company of Archers The Queen's Body Guard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers is a Honor guard, ceremonial unit that serves as the Elizabeth II, Sovereign's bodyguard in Scotland, a role it has performed since 1822 during the reign of George IV of the United ...

Royal Company of Archers
, the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland. There are twelve brigadiers on the establishment, ranking after
ensign An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate nationality. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign (also known as war ensign), used on warships, may be differ ...
s.Royal Company of Archers
royal.gov.uk. Accessed 1 July 2012


See also

* British and U.S. military ranks compared *
British Army Other Ranks rank insignia The term used to refer to all ranks below British Army officer rank insignia, officers in the British Army and the Royal Marines is "Other ranks (UK), other ranks" (abbreviated "ORs"). It includes warrant officers, non-commissioned officers (" ...
*
British Army officer rank insignia Listed in the table below are the insignia—emblems of authority—of the British Army. Badges for field officer A field officer, field-grade officer, or senior officer is an Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ' ...


References


External links


Army Ranks
- British Army website {{UK officer ranks One-star officers Military ranks of the British Army Military ranks of the Royal Marines